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George H. Browne, A.M. (Harv.) 

International Skating Club, Davos, Switzerland 

Cambridge Skating Club 

The Skating Club of Boston 

Springfield. Massachusetts, U. S. A 


The Young Hungarian Skater, Fraulein Opika von 
Meray-Horvath, of Budapest, who, after diligent 
practice for several seasons since this picture was taken, 
according to the system advocated in this Primer, has 
again proved true old Dr. Johnson's dictum that "few 
things are impossible to diligence and skill" by winning 
the woman's championship of the world for 191 2 See 
p. 65. On Artistic Skating for Women , see Mrs. Syers' 
chapter in our new Handbook of Figure Skating, p. 199 ff. 






George H. Browne, A.M. (Harv.) 

International Skating Club, Davos, Switzerland 

Cambridge Skating Club 

The Skating Club of Boston 


Springfield, Massachusetts, U. S. A. 



George H. Browne, A.M. 

The Browne £s? Nichols School 

Cambridge, Massachusetts, U. S. A. 

For other skating literature by the same author, see 
pp. 69-72. This Primer is not an abridgment of the 
other works, but an entirely new book, specially writ- 
ten for beginners in the International Style. 

The distinguishing characteristic of this style is 
system; but the system is not so mechanical as to pre- 
clude ample opportunity for free individual self-expres- 
sion. The execution of the same figure by various 
experts, though in general conformity to the system, 
may still present slight technical differences; and in 
minor details, the performance of the same expert may 
vary slightly from season to season. 

For example, Salchow now begins the right outside 
forward with the right arm outstrethed, not bent like 
Fuchs's, Fig. 31; and- instead of beginning the rotation 
at the beginning of the circle, like Panin, pp. 27, 28, 
even young beginners may find it easier to hold Sal- 
chow's starting position until half through the circle, 
like the Mtillers. It may be well, too, even for young 
beginners, not to start the rotation in the rob circle 
(begun with r shoulder leading) until half through the 
circle, though it will be hard, at first, to hold the free- 
foot in front so long (Rule 7, p. 22, must never be vio- 
lated). The ib circle is best finished by method (1), 
p. 31; and the ob Three, in the old way, p. 39 — by 
drawing the free-foot in front before the turn, but with- 
out making a loop in the air. 

If the method advised in this Primer ever differs 
from that advised in the new Handbook, it is only be- 
cause it is thought better adapted to beginners. Grace 
comes from unconscious ease and efficiency; efficiency, 
from learning to execute figures in the most appropriate 
and economical way; i. e., with as few movements as 
possible. This is the golden rule of the art of to-day. 
— December, 191 2. 

"Out of my lean and low ability I'll lend you some- 
thing." — Shakespeare, Twelfth Nighty 3, 4, 378. 



2 — Tag. "E'en so, thou outrunn'st grace." 

— Timon of Athens, 2, 2, 93. 

If the young reader, who has 
already achieved plain skating, 
really desires eventually to be- 
come a good skater, this little book 
will set him on the right track. It 
is called a " Primer, " not because 
it is adapted only to children of 
the "primer" stage, but because, 
though the language is simple and 
we hope clear, it is a "First Book" 
for beginners of any age in the 
most graceful and fascinating art in the whole range 
of outdoor sport. Skaters of all ages, from the lad 
whose chief joy is tag (Fig. 2) and hockey (Fig. 3) to 
the middle-aged business man who cannot resist put- 
ting on his old skates now and then, have always had 
times of wishing to do a little "fancy" skating, if 
they only dared or thought they could. Now as a 
matter of fact, artistic skating, especially in the attrac- 
tive form of pair-skating (including waltzing), has 
recently become so popular in New England and New 

3 — Hockey 

York, that trying to learn it has begun to seem to 
would-be skaters of all ages much more worth their 
while than ever before ; and the art itself has been so 
simplified, and its implements have been so improved 
in recent years, that the difficulties of learning it have 
been greatly reduced. 

4 — Alex. V. Panschin and his Pupils, St. Petersburg 

"Stand by, and mark the manner of his teaching." 

— Taming of the Shrew, 4, 2, 5. 
"What impossible matter will he make easy next?" 

— Tempest, 2, I, 88. 

The object of this little book is not to present a 
condensed systematic treatise of the whole simplified 
art, but to increase this growing interest in graceful 
skating, to explain (primarily for young beginners) the 
fundamental elements of it and their simplest combina- 
tions, and (perhaps not without some service also to 
maturer American skaters used to a different skate 
and style, who would like to begin the "New Skating" 
in the right way) to show just how to skate the Ele- 
mentary Figures in the best form. 

5 — The Spread Eagle, most easily learned in youth 

"Father takes delight 
To see his active child do deeds of youth," — Sonnet 37. 
Strain his young nerves and put himself in posture." 

— Cymbeline, 3, 3, 94. 

We shall have little to do with the theory of skating; 
still less to do with the history of skating, and with the 
explanation of how the skaters of all skating countries 
except the U. S. A. have agreed upon a prescribed list 
of figures to skate, and the one best way to skate them. 
We shall have next to nothing to do with the more 
difficult figures (like the rocking-turns, the change- 
turns, and the turn-change-turns). You will find all 
these things fully explained in the latest revised and 
enlarged edition of my Handbook of Figure Skating 
1912), see page 72, which treats in complete detail 
of the American and the English as well as the Conti- 
nental Style; and in my New Skating (1910), p. 69, 
and the Cardinal Positions & Movements of the School 
Figures on Separate Cards (1911), p. 71, which treat 
exclusively of the International Style. Later, you will 
come to the advanced figures with all the greater 
enthusiasm and assurance of success, if you first per- 
fect yourself in the elementary figures in correct form. 

"Practise yourself in little things; and thence pro- 
ceed to greater." 

— Epictetus, Discourses, Chap, xviii. 

The time to begin is when you are young and have 
plenty of time and energy (Cf. Fig. 5). If your begin- 
nings are right, you will be surprised to find what rapid 
progress you can make with only a little systematic 
practice every skating day. You can have more fun, 
and little or no less hookey and tag; and when you are 
ready to go to College, you may already be accom- 
plished skaters; for the beauty of this new system of 
skating is that it is progressive and cumulative. You 
don't have to learn every new figure anew, as in the 
old American skating. Each step, if taken rightly, is 
a step in advance; and each new figure achieved by 
will and perseverance is not only a permanent acquisi- 
tion in itself, but a contribution to the next figure, and 
an intensification of enjoyment. Add to this really 
moral quality, the invigoration of the keen winter 
out-of-doors, the zest of social companionship, and the 
unrivalled bodily and mental recreation, and you have 
an irresistible inducement to begin when young to 
acquire some facility in a sport whose fascinating 
possibilities are unlimited, and whose exhilarating 
movements can be executed by older men and women 
than take part in any other out-door sport. 

"Oh, there is nothing like the skater's art — 
The poetry of circles; nothing like 

The fleeting beauty of his crystal floor. 
Above his head the winter sunbeams dart, 
Beneath his feet flits past the frighted pike. 

Skate while you may; the morrow skates no more." 

An Elfin Skate, Eugene Lee-Hamilton, in The 
Academy, London, Dec. 3, 1892, p. 508. 

To increase the interest in this graceful accomplish- 
ment for a life-time, to start the beginner in a method 
that the experience of the world's experts has demon- 
strated to be the best, and to teach some single and 
combined figures and exercises not only fundamentally 
important, but also enjoyable to the skater and afford- 
ing pleasure to the onlooker when executed in the form 
herein prescribed — is the main object of this Skating 


But before the ice comes, I wish to talk over one or 
two general matters with you: first, your tools; and 
then, the best way of using them. 

"The tools to him that can handle them." 

— Carlyle, Sir Walter Scott, 1838 


"I find the Englishman to be him of all men who 
stands firmest in his shoes." — Emerson, Manners. 

A good workman can generally do a better job with 
poor tools (if they are not too poor) than a poor work- 
man can do with good tools. A natural skater can do 
something in any boots and on any skates. But as a 
general rule, the best results come economically only 
with the best tools. 

Now, the best boot is not necessarily a specially made 
boot. (The so-called skating-boots with big brass eye- 
lets and a strap around the high top are worthless for 
fine work). It should be a laced Blucher or Balmoral, 
stout but not stiff, with a broad straight heel of such 
height that the attached skate should be nearly one- 
fourth of an inch higher under the heel than under the 
ball of the foot. (If the heel is any lower, it will be 
harder to do all backward curves and turns, and large 
forward circles.) Whether black or tan, high or low 
(if the top comes well over the ankle bone), straight 
or skewing (orthopedic), makes little difference except 
for looks, — provided, when tightly laced, the boot 
fits. If you have a street boot that fits you perfectly 
and you can afford to have a special pair made on the 
same last, — lacing to the toe-cap, hooking over the 
heel at the back, and stoutly lined (canvas is n't so 
hot as leather), — you will have an ideal skating-boot. 

"Lax in their gaiters, laxer in their gait." — James 
Smith, The Theatre (author of Rejected Addresses). 

In the case of expert skaters, with such skates as 
they would naturally select, I almost believe that the 
fit of the boot is the one most important question; 
but in the case of growing boys and girls, especially in 
large families, there are other considerations that have 
to be taken into account. Outgrown skates are more 


durable to "hand down" than boots. If, then, a 
special boot can not be afforded, a plate inserted in 
the heel of the school boot, if it fits tightly enough, will 
provide the next best attachment. An extra pair of 
stockings will sometimes render a loose pair of boots 
available; and a (home-made) felt or cotton pad, under 
the tongue, is essential to prevent the lacing from 
galling the foot. For I do not need to remind you that 
no good skater ever wears straps over the heels. 
"Weak" ankles will disappear when you have acquired 
the proper balance and good form attainable by all 
serious and earnest skaters. 

"I can tell where my own shoe pinches me; and you 
must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff." 

— Don Quixote, I, iv, 5. 


"Who, then, can boast of merry days like mine, 
Or who can hold so wide a sphere in thrall? 
I warm the hearts of millions with my wine, 
And winter's monarch I am crowned by all." 
- — C. Turner, King Skate, Outing, Jan., 1895. 

So much for the boot. The best 
skate is a two-stanchion, round-toed 
skate screwed on to the special boot. 
(Fig. 6a.) The 
next best is the de- 
tachable round- 
toed skate with 
heel-plate and 
toe-clamp attach- 
ment. (Fig. 6b.) 
The only skate 
that won't do at 
all for figure skat- 
ing is the detachable skate that fastens in the mid- 
dle of the heel and in the middle of the sole. The 
side wise fastening at the heel does n't make so very 
much difference; but you will certainly obtain the 
best results if you fasten the skate at the heel about 
one-eighth of an inch inside the middle; and have the 

6a— The B. and B. Continental 

"Whose edge hath power to cut." 
— L. L. L., 2, 1, 50. 


blade long enough to project three-fourths of an inch 
behind the heel, as you look perpendicularly down by 
the back of the boot. It is absolutely essential for easy 
and effective work that you attach the blade at the ball 
of the foot under the middle of the foot not under the 
middle of the sole. (The skate blade should ordinarily 
project between the great toe and the next.) Therefore, 
skates that do not allow a sidewise adjustment in front 
are almost worthless for nice figure skating. You must 
insist upon being furnished with a long outside clamp, 
as on Barney & Berry skates, so as to adjust the skate 
in front well to the inside. You will then find that your 
balance will not, as on the usual stock skate, compel 
such a strong inside edge that all skating on the out- 
side edge seems at first impossible. 

6b — The Barney & Berry Heel-Button International 

"A very good blade." — R. /., 2, 4, 31. "Which bears the better 
temper, Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw." — 1 H.\ 2, 4, 13 

Now, there is another consideration almost more 
important than the kind of skate you select; viz., the 
shape of the blade and the curve to which it is ground. 
The edges must be straight, no matter how thick the 
blade; three-sixteenths to one-fourth of an inch is thick 
enough. The edges may be parallel or splayed; that 
is, converging toward the heel. But whether the blade 
is thicker at the toe or not, the sides must not be convex 
(Adams blades), or concave (Dowler blades), but 
straight. Since our out-door ice is generally pretty 
hard, and our skate blades thinner at the top than at 
the bottom, the angle of the edges may safely be left a 
little sharper than a right angle. 

The curve of the bottom is the most important of all. 
Where speed is the most desirable quality of skating, 
as in racing, tag, or hockey, the zig-zag lines on the ice 
are mostly straight — 4, the shortest distance between 


two points." Therefore, the skate best adapted to 
this kind of skating is ground almost if not quite flat. 
But expert hockey players are beginning to rock their 
skates at the heel and the toe so as to be able to turn 
quicker than on the ordinary hockey skate. Now, 
long and careful scientific experimentation has demon- 
strated that a skate ground to the curve of a circle of 
nine feet. radius is as flat as it is practicable to turn on; 
and that a skate ground to the curve of a circle of three 
feet radius is as rocking as it is easy to stand up on at 
all steadily. The average, you see, is six feet. A skate, 
then, whose rock is a curve of six feet radius is theo- 
retically the best for both turning and gliding ; and so 
it turns out to be in practice. A skate of seven foot 
rock or over is easier to learn straight-away skating 
on; but the most expert cannot ^kate a clean-cut loop 
or a turn on such a skate easily. On the other hand, 
on a skate of five foot rock or less, little short curves 
and turns are easy to acquire, but long graceful curves 
and circles very difficult, except by the most experi- 
enced.* The older you grow, and the more control you 
acquire, the sharper the rock you can afford to grind 
your skate to. Since the ordinary stock skate, until 
within a few years, has been ground to a rock of four 
or four and a half feet radius, it is no matter of surprise 
that figure skating has got the reputation of being 
"hard". It is a wonder that so many children have 
been able to stand up at all. Balance, which alone 
gives control, is almost unattainable on the hitherto 
commonly available skate. 

"Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel." — Gen. y xlix, 4. 


On the three styles of skating, of which the extremes 
are the American, Fig. 8, and the English, Fig. 9, see 
Handbook and New Skating, p. 8, fL, where they are 
fully described and illustrated. At first the young 
American beginner will look upon the requirements 

*The latest European skates (Dr. Winzer's) still have 
the middle ground very flat, to glide on; the front and back 
rocking, to turn on, — a combination curve, not a true circle. 


"The glass of fashion and the mould of form, 
The observed of all observers." — Hamlet, 3, 1, 161, 

7 — The International Style. See Handbook, p. 162. 

Courtesy of Winter Sports Review. 
"Making his style admired everywhere." — Sonnet, 84. 

of correct up-to-date form as restrictions upon his free- 
dom of movement. "What are arms and legs for," he 
will think, "if not to swing naturally? If you don't 
skate the outside edge, square front, free foot swinging 
outside, like most American skaters, good and bad alike, 


Fig. 8 (cf. Hdbk. Fig. 
162), your sprawling 
and posing will be as 
bad as English stiff- 
ness. ' ' True ; but the 
alternative is n't 
"sprawling or pos- 
ing." Twenty years' 
combined experience 
of the best skaters of 
the fourteen coun- 
tries of the Interna- 
tiona 1 Skating Union 
(I. S. U.) has proved 
one way to be essen- 
tially the most effi- 
cient and the most 
graceful way of skat- 
ing each figure. To 
make that way easy 
and natural for us, 
even if at first it seems 
like posing, is the 
problem before us. 
Now, since that prob- 
lem is chiefly physi- 
cal (of course some 
are naturally more 
graceful than others), the solution is largely a mat- 
ter of training and developing the muscles. And, 
strange to say, it has only recently been discovered that 
the little special training which is required can actually 
be done better on the floor than on the ice, if one is 
really in earnest. It may seem too much like making 
work of your play; but the point is, if you really do care, 
you can, on the floor, save a great deal of time in learn- 
ing on the ice, for the simple reason that on your 
skates, you often can't do a figure because you can't 
stretch certain muscles quite far enough; and you 
can't stretch the muscles far enough on the ice be- 
cause you can't quite do the figure, — or you get 
discouraged because you can't do both at once. Now, 


8— Outside Forward, Ameri- 
can Style, Square Front 

"It is a most unforc'd posi- 
tion." — Othello, 2, I, 240. • 

if you would only do some of the stretching first, 
while standing on the flat of your foot, you would find 
it much easier and quicker to do the stretching and the 
figure on the edge of your skate. The best professional 
exponents of such a graceful physical art, for example, 
as dancing, which has recently been revived on the 
stage in so many attractive forms, all testify that 

9 — An English Four at Davos. 

Note the awkward strokes of Dr. Williams and Mr. 
Fedden going out from the centre, and the stiff pose of 
Mr. Collingwood and Mr. George Wood coming in. 

"Why do you skate (walk) as if you had swallowed a 
ramrod?" — Epictetus, Discourses, Chap. xxi. 

they produce the effects of lightness, sureness, and 
ease, by short practice in exaggerated positions beyond 
the extreme actually demanded of them in artistic 


"In life's small things be resolute and great 
To keep thy muscle trained." 

— James Russell Lowell, Epigram. 

Now I have discovered that only two or three 
movements (into four extreme positions) will train 



I— Free-foot behind II— Free-foot in front 

FORWARD TWIST— Practice movements off the ice 

your muscles for all the 
movements necessary for all 
the prescribed figures. These 
two movements are (stand- 
ing on the right foot — the 
same movements, reversed, 
apply to the left foot, and 
should be as faithfully prac- 
tised as on the right) : 

1. Extreme forward 
twisting of waist and hip 
muscles, aided by the 
(screw) rotation of arms 
and shoulders. Practice 
movements I, II. 

2. Extreme backward 
twisting of the same, aided 
by the (unscrew) rotation 
of arms and shoulders. 

V — Turn from II to III. "Turn'd Practice movements III, IV 

on the toe." — L. L. L. y 5, 2, 1 14. By extreme I mean to the 



III — Free-foot in front IV — Free-foot behind 

BACKWARD TWIST— Practice movements off the ice 

limit of endurance short of 
strain. Do not force the 
muscles — a little at a time 
is better than too much at 
once. Be sure to carry the 
hands flexed a little upward 
and backward at the wrist 
— palms down, never up; 
free foot, flexed almost, if 
not quite, straight, usually 
down, never toes up. 

Simultaneously with this 
twisting (1), stretch up and 
down on the standing-knee 
(2), and with the backward 
twist (3) , " spread-eagle " 
the free-leg not only at the 
ankle, but also at the knee 
and the hip. Practice move- 
ments IV, IV 1 , and IV 2 . 
This last movement is the VI — Turn from IV to I. "Took 

key to the whole situation, heel to do't.' — Cymb. 5, 3, 67 


IV 1 — Going Backward IV 2 — Coming Forward 

BACKWARD TWIST— Arms stretched for balance 

if prosperity may be said to depend upon any one 
element. The temporary assumption of this apparently 
strained position is so necessary for the successful exe- 
cution of most steps and all turns on the ice, that no 
pains should be spared to attain the requisite flexibil- 
ity, even though the "spread-eagle", as an independ- 
ent two-foot figure, is not a very graceful, acrobatic 
accomplishment. (Figs. 20, 21.) Held on one foot, 
however, at great pace on the ice in large backward 
spirals (Figs. 7, 19, 47, 83) this approximate "spread- 
eagle" position not only makes an effective and there- 
fore graceful figure, but offers the best possible practice 
for control of balance and edge. No ordinary exercise 
with which I am familiar, whether forced by labor or 
taken for fun, yields the "spread-eagle" as a by-prod- 
uct. Yet without a close approximation to the 
"spread-eagle" position (Figs. IV 1 , IV 2 , the arms 
stretched for balance) none of the turns on the ice, and 
few of the transition steps can be skated easily. 


18 — Normal rob Start, p. 29 19— rob Spiral 

Practice movements III, IV, in action on the ice. 

20— Both feet on the ice 
Before straightening the legs. 

21 — The Spread-eagle 
Legs straightened 

The anticipatory strenthening on the floor, then, of 
these somewhat unusual muscular actions, 

1. The extreme twisting of the shoulders, hips, 
thighs, and ankles; 

2. The springing of the skating knee; and 

3. The " spread-eagling " of the free-leg at the hip, 
knee, and ankle, will put all the cardinal positions and 
movements on the ice within your command. 

It is good practice to take the four positions one after 
another on one foot and then on the other. When you 
can keep your balance on one foot, you may combine 
them successively i nto one continuous movement ; 


thus, when you get to Position II, intensify the rota- 
tion to the limit by dropping the balance-foot still 
farther round (swing 1) ; lift it a trifle with the turn 
(Movement V) on the toe from f to b (swing 2) , so as 
to be able to drop it in front as you get round (swing 
3, into Position III) ; when you get to Position IV, 
drop the balance-foot close to the standing-foot at the 
limit of rotation (swing 1) ; lift it a trifle at the turn 
(Movement VI) on the heel from b to f (swing 2), so 
as to be able to drop it behind as you get round (swing 
3, into Position I, again). Now, repeat on the same 
foot. Then do the sequence on the other foot. These 
exercises are more fully explained in the Handbook, p. 
166 ff. (the motion, however, in the opposite direction, 
— from the reader) . On the ice, each of the four positions 
may be skated forward and backward, on the outside 
and on the inside edge; and you may prepare for the 
whole sixteen on the floor simply by inclining the bod} r 
at the ankle and turning the head in the direction of 
progression. To avoid further repetition, the Tunda- 
mental principles controlling these movements on tiie 
ice are here expressed as General Rules for reference; 
and the beginner is advised to become so familiar with 
the positions and the rules, that his skating instinct 
• will apply them automatically, as occasion demands. 

"That which comes after ever conforms to that 
which has gone before. . . . Look to the essence 
of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine or of prac- 
tice. . . . Let no act be done at haphazard, nor 
otherwise than according to the finished rules that 
govern its kind." — Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. 




General Rules 

1. Soft, gradual movements — not jerky — Whenever 
movements are recommended to be made at certain 
points in the figure, they are to be made gradually, 
softly, and therefore gracefully. With varying speed 
and balance, they may precede or follow the points 


indicated; but they are seldom sudden, and never 

2. Poise and movement of head — The head should 
be held erect- — poised on the spinal column prolonged 
in a straight but not stiff line, without an angle at the 
neck. The head is generally turned in the direction 
of progression — always, on forward edges; on most 
of the outside back; least on inside back. Don't look 
down at the ice except for a moment when absolutely 
necessary to ensure placing your print. 

3. Tilt of body and compensating swing of arms — 

The body should tilt, sidewise, from the skate-edge; 
that is, in a straight line, without an angle at the hips. 
When the body tilts to the right, the compensating 
(balance) swing of the arms is to the left; when the 
body tilts to the left, the compensating swing of the 
arms is to the right — and it is usually more natural 
and graceful to swing them parallel to each other, 
hands about waist high, palms down, fingers neither 
spread nor clinched. 

4. Rock of body and compensating swing of bal- 
ance-foot — When the body rocks forward, the com- 
pensating swing of the balance-foot is backward — 
when the body rocks backward, the compensating 
swing of the balance-foot is forward — and the normal 
height of the balance-foot is proportionate to the rock 
of the body. 

When the body is in equilibrium, rotation for a turn, 
loop, or spin, may be increased either by raising and 
spreading the arms, or lifting the balance-foot, or both. 

5. Bend of legs — Both legs are always slightly 
bent at the knee — the skating-leg more so at the be- 
ginning of a circle and straightening toward the end; 
the balance-leg lower and straighter at the beginning 
of a circle, higher and more bent toward the end. At 
the turns, the skating-leg is "springy" at the knee — 
bends, straightens, bends. 

6. Extension of balance-foot — The balance-foot 
is forcibly extended so as to make as nearly a straight 
angle with the balance-leg as possible — generally, 


therefore, pointing 
toward the ice. Never 
carry the toe of the bal- 
ance-foot up in the air. 

7. Lagging of bal- 
ance-foot — The bal- 
ance-foot at the begin- 
ning of every curve 
(just after it has thrust, 
from the whole blade, 
never from the toe- 
point) lags behind the 
direction of progression ; 
that is, on forward 
curves is carried behind 
the skating-f oot; on 
backward curves, in 
front and over or across 
the print — at the be- 

8. Swing of balance- 
foot — The balance-foot 
swings in the same di- 
rection as the corre- 
sponding shoulder on outside edges (Fig. 22), but in 
the opposite direction on inside edges (Fig. 23). It is 
poised or swung entirely from the hip, in the socket of 
which it is turned outward and backward as much as 

9. Proximity of feet — It is not so necessary that the 
balance-foot should swing close to the skating-foot on 
outside as on inside edges ; but it is important that the 
feet should not be widely separated at changes and 

10. Preparation for succeeding curve — As the 
skater approaches the end of any curve of a funda- 
mental figure, he should get his body, by continuous 
rotation before a change or a turn, into approximate 
position for the succeeding curve, whether on the same 
foot or on the other foot. 

22— Right Outside Forward. 
Nat: W. Niles 

"Insinewed to this action, 
Acquitted by a true substan- 
tial form." — 2 HA, 4, 1, 173. 


23— Right Inside Forward. Werner Rittberger 

"As if that whatsoever god who leads him 
Were slyly crept into his human powers 
And gave him graceful posture." 

— Coriolanus, 2, I, 235. 
In general — Everything violent, angular, or stiff is 
to be avoided in the movement; no effort is to be 
strongly expressed, but the impression is to be given 
that the figures are executed without effort. Always 
skate naturally, and avoid every affected pose. 
"I should like to impress on those who are going to learn 
to skate in the International style that all the positions 
they are taught to place themselves in are not merely 
poses, assumed for effect, and in order to look nice. 
Every position assumed by expert International skaters 
has a definite object, and is the position which long 
experience has proved to be the easiest, and that which 
is most conducive to the holding of a correct balance 
on any particular edge or turn." 

— Mrs. Greenhough Smith (Champion of England, 
1908, 191 1), Winter Sports Review, Sept., 1912. 


"All difficulties are but easy when they are known." 
— Measure for Measure, 4, 2, 221. 


I'll draw the form and model." — Richard III, 5, 3, 24. 


25 26 27 

The Fundamental Element is the simple curve 
(Fig. 24) in the four forms: outside forward (O. F.), 
inside forward (I. F.), outside backward (O. B.), and 
inside backward (I. B.). These curves are joined into 
two curve elements by a Change of Edge (Serpentine, 
Fig. 25), by a Turn (Three, Fig. 26), or by a Loop 
(Fig. 27). Sometimes the Double Three, Fig. 65, is 
called an element; but it is only a variation of Fig. 
26 — three curves joined by means of two threes. Each 
of these figures may be skated on alternate feet, in field 
(half-circle) or to place as eights (full-circle). 


One of the hardest things for the beginner to acquire 
is vigorous pace and go. Don't be too stiff and un- 
yielding. Learn to let your skate "run"; that is, 
learn to surrender freely to the motion, to accumulate 
momentum, and to transfer your weight from one 
skate to the other without losing any of your momentum 
by hitching or pausing. It is good practice to get up 
speed by a strong thrust (always from the edge, never 
from the point of your skate), or by a few running 
strokes from the inside edge of your skates, and then 
relax and let your body, without losing any of its mo- 


28 — Spiral 

29— Full- 
Circle Swing 

mentum, glide into a long spiral curve on one foot. 
Practise holding this spiral, outside and inside (Fig. 23), 
forward and backward (Figs. 7, 19, 47,) just as long as 
you can, in correct form. It is the best possible practice 
for strengthening your ankles, securing stable balance, 
and adding vigorous pace and go to your skating — a 
quality almost, if not quite, as desirable as good form. 
On the Spirals see further p. 45. 

"You must make a circle. — H. 5 , 5, 2, 320. 

"Where I did begin, there shall I end." — /. C, 5, 3, 24. 

But to come round to your starting point in a full- 
circle eight, the prescribed form for all school-figures, you 
need more than a spiral swing, Fig. 28; you must 
acquire what I call 
a cooperative swing, 
Fig. 29. For exam- 
ple, to change a for- 
ward curve skated 
with a simple thrust 
into a full circle, carry 
the thrusting leg, after 
the thrust, a little far- 
ther back than necessary ; then, when you get to the 
middle of the curve*, swing the balance-leg vigorously 
forward with the aid of the weight of the leg and a little 
extra muscular action, and thereby increase the centrifu- 
gal force. The proper and timely movement of the head, 
arms, and shoulders may also cooperate to this end; 
and the skating-leg, which should always be springy at 
the knee, the moment the balance-leg swings forward, 
should stretch and bite into the ice with increased 
power, which will cause an increase of speed. Further, 
on this cooperative swing, see New Sk., p. 7 ff.. For the 
official requirements for the correct tracing of each 
figure,* see Handbook p. 126, ff, New Sk., p. 33. la 
the following selection from the prescribed figures, the 
numeral on the left is the official number in the schedule 
of the International Skating Union; the numeral on 
the right (in parenthesis) is its value in points. The 
inside edge in good form is easier to learn, but we shall 
begin with the young skater's first ambition, the out- 
side edge. 


Practice movements I, II, p. 16 

Study carefully for imitation the positions in all the 
illustrations. Learn the rules (pp. 20-22) by heart. 

In skating this, and all other circles, do not make an 
angle at the hips (Rule 3) ; the body, though inclined, 
should be straight from the skate-edge to the top of 
head. In order to keep the head erect (Rule 2), make 
a conscious effort to tilt it oward the centre; other* 

30— rof Start — Salchow 
" Straining upon the 
start." — H. 5 y 3, 1, 32. 

31 — rof Start — Fuchs 
"The motion's good, in- 
deed!"— T. S., 1, 2, 281. 

32 — Outside 
Forward Eight 

wise it may make an ugly angle at 
the neck. This movement of the head 
helps amazingly to round out the 
circle. Remember also to bend the 
ska ting-leg, for pace, especially at the 
start, Fig. 30 (Rule 5). Resist the 
tendency of both the left shoulder 
and the free foot to come forward, 
immediately after the start, as in 
familiar American Skating (Fig. 8). 
The rudder-like action of the free- 
foot enables you to make the circle 
big, and to bring you round, full- 


circle, to the starting-point, Fig. 29. The curves of the 
two halves of the eight must intersect at the beginning ; 
but it is reckoned a better print now-a-days if the 
circles at the end just touch than if they intersect, as 
in the diagram, Fig. 32, or fall short, as in Figs. 51, 65. 

33 — rof, %-% round 

34— rof, at end 

Note the position of the shoulders, arms, and free- 
foot at the start (Figs. 30 and 31). Keep the balance- 
leg back and well across the print (Rules 6 and 7) 
Fig. 22; but from the start, screw the shoulders and 
hips slowly around until, over half-way through the 
circle, you cannot hold the balance-foot back any 
longer (Fig. 33). 

The left shoulder is now in front, the right behind. 
Let the twist in the waist muscles (Practice movement 
I, p. 16) pull the balance-foot round, as you stiffen the 
skating-knee, rock the body backward from the ankle, 
and slowly swing the balance-foot, knee bent, round 
in front, Fig. 34 (Practice movement II, p. 16.) 

As the first circle comes to an end, turn the toe of 
the balance-foot in, to compel a 
strong outside edge when you put 
it down; and now with a strong 
thrust from a short inside edge, 
throw the body forward on to the 
new edge and repeat the above 
movements reversed, on the left 
foot, Fig. 60. 

Fig. 35 shows the action of the 35 — hop — Panin 

A \ 


36 — Cross Roll 

shoulders. "The faultless execu- 
tion of the curves depends upon 
the condition that body, shoulders, 
arms, hips, and head be in motion 
during the whole circle." — Sal- 
chow, on Card 1. (See p. 71.) 


When you skate this outside for- 
ward edge, not as an eight, but as 
an American field figure, in half 
circles (roll), Fig. 36, it is, of course, 
not necessary to keep back the 
balance-foot so long, or even inside 
the print at all ; and when you take 
the stroke by crossing the balance- 
foot over and lunging upon the next 
curve without a distinct thrust from the skating-foot 
(cross-roll) , no short change of edge is necessary. (See 
photograph, Handbook, p. 80.) 

Practice movements I, III, pp. 16, 17 

Remember that the balance-foot swings not in the 
same direction as the shoulders (as in the outside for- 
ward) but in the opposite direction (Rule 8). Since 
the balance-foot must be behind at the start, the right 
inside edge therefore must be begun with the left 
shoulder in front (see front cover and Fig. 23), body 
slightly bent forward at the hips, knee strongly bent. 
(Don't begin with shoulders square to the print, the 
free-foot a-straddle, swinging aimlessly somewhere 
inside the print. See Hdbk., p. 80, New Sk., p. 6.) 

From the start, the shoulders begin to unwind, the 
balance-foot begins to swing forward, and the skating 
leg begins to straighten. 

About half way through the circle, the balance-foot 
passes by close to the skating-foot; and later, as the 
body rocks backward, preparatory to the forward 
lurch on to the next curve, crosses over the print in 
front of the skating-leg, which is now straightened to 
its full height, Cf. Figs. 4, 46, 62. 


At the end of the curve, the shoulders are almost 
flat with the print, left shoulder behind ; the left foot is 
put down toes out so as to secure a strong inside edge 
from the start ; and the body lunges on to the second 
curve with the right shoulder in front. Panin's 
shoulders are rather squarer at the 
beginning than most Continental 
skaters', Fig. 37. 

The arms are swung parallel 
through the entire movement. It 
is not a bad device to hold the diag- 
onal corners of a handkerchief in 
each hand, until you can gauge the 
distance. Cf. NewSk., p. 17. Note 37— rip— Panin 
carefully the positions in the illus- 
trations referred to, and compare a graphic series of 
snap-shots of Salchow executing the first circle, in 
Handbook, p. 142. 

In brief — "Remember the fundamental principle of 
the balance on inside edges: "shoulder against 
balance-foot. The balance is regulated by a gradual 
carrying forward of the balance-foot and a simultaneous 
drawing back of the balance-shoulder." — Salchow, on 
Card 2. 

" Before tne gazer now he seems to fly, 
Now with a backward stroke deludes the eye; 
Precipitating curves on curves anew, 
Returning ever to his centre true." 

— Robert Snow, Skating, 1845. 

Practice movements III, IV, p. 17 

"On an edge 
More likely to fall." — 2 H*, 1, I, 170. 

The feeling of danger on backward edges frequently 
makes beginners bend the body at the hips and neck 
to keep their balance. Therefore bear in mind Rules 
2 and 3; also, Rule 7. 

"The fear's as bad as falling." — Cymbeline, 3, 3, 49. 

After the strike-off, let the striking foot, now free, 
lag behind, in front of the skating-leg, which should be 


38— rob— Panin 

well bent, Figs. 18, 61. Immediately 
^ screw the shoulders and hips almost 
// ,L \ into the plane of the skating-foot. 
This backward pull of the left 
arm and hip will pull the balance- 
leg round, about a quarter way 
through the circle; let it come 
round with all its momentum, and 
spread-eagle it at hip, knee, and 

ankle, to open out the curve, Fig. 19. Let the head 

follow the balance-foot around, and look, hard over the 

balance-foot shoulder in the direction of progress. 

Cf. Figs. 7, 19, 47. 

Near the end of the circle (on 

a short change of edge) , bring the 

balance-foot down close to the skat- 
ing-foot (Rule 9) , which straightens 

so as to give a strong thrust on to 

the second circle. After thrusting, 

it, in turn, lags behind, and the 

above movements, reversed, are 

repeated on the left foot. Notice 

how flat to the print Panin's 

shoulders are, Fig. 38 {Card 3). 



(Cf. Handbook, p. 81). 
On the outside back cross-roll 
(half-circle), Fig. 39, there is no 
short change of edge; the transi 
tion from the outside back on one foot directly to the 
outside back on the other is effected chiefly by the 
rock of the body. 

39 — Cross Roll 

Practice movements II, III, pp. 16, 17 
This eight is the hardest of all 7 for two or three 
reasons. All these eights must be begun, not with a 
run or a succession of strokes, but with a single thrust 
from rest. Now, it is very difficult to get, from rest, 
a sufficiently strong thrust to make the first inside 
back circle as big as it ought to be. The balance, too, 


is difficult with the free foot in front, and the circle 
consequently has to be begun with the shoulders all 
wound up to start with. Furthermore, it is hard to see 
where you are going or what you are doing. And, 
lastly, under all these handicaps, it is difficult to get 
the skate to run to a smooth finish. See a series of 
four snap-shots of Salchow executing an inner back 
circle from rest, in Hdbk., p. 135, Cf . also, Hdb/c, p. 178. 

Stand lightly on the left inside edge ; swing the right 
foot gently in front, and then, with deep knee-bending, 
push strongly from the left on to the right, which is 
turned heel out, so as to catch a strong inside edge from 
the start, the skating knee also well bent. Start with 
the right shoulder well behind,, balance-foot in front, 
head natural, not trying to look in the direction of 
motion (Keep your eyes rather at the starting point 
throughout the whole circle). 

Slowly bring the balance-foot back, close to the 
skating-foot. Half way through the circle, it is ahead 
of the skating-foot. There are now two popular ways 
of finishing: 

(1) Spread-eagle the free-leg and follow it with your 
eyes nearly to the end (reversing shoulder rotation) ; or 

(2) Bring the arms quickly to the sides of the body 
(Cf. Fig. 48) at the same time that you straighten the 
skating-knee and bring the balance- 
foot close to the skating-foot. In 
this straight pose let the skate run 
until the next stroke. 

Notice that Panin's head (indi- 
cated by the short arrow, Fig. 40) 
follows the rotation of his shoul- 
ders until, when three quarters 
round, both are flat with the print. 40^rib-— Panin 
Of course he has to abandon this 
position before the next push-off, and therefore his 
way of finishing is not so popular as the other ways. 

This finishes the four eights on each foot — eight in all. 

"The permutations then attack 
Of foot, edge, and direction; 
From rof to lib (left inside back) 
Eight is the whole collection." 
— Cf. Winter Sports Review, Jan., 191 2, p. 122. 


THE SERPENTINE (Change of Edge) 

The serpentine is 
a combination of 
two curves by means 
of a change of edge. 
It is all one swing 
— there is no pause 
or break in the 
movement of the 
swinging foot. The 
positions for the 
curves in combina- 42— roif 
tion, forward and Change of Edge 
backward, are ex- Shoulder action 
actly the same as for 
the curves apart. The change takes 
place in the long axis of the eight; 
41 — Serpentine and the circular lobes of the para- 
(Change of Edge) graph eight, Fig. 
Cf. top p. 27. 41> must be of 

approximately equal size. In all 
changes keep the arms low at the 
change, and the 
movement of the 
balance-f o o t as 
nearly over the 

44— At 

45— After 

print as possible. 
Fig. 42 shows the 
rotation of the 

43 — Before 

shoulders; Figs. 43-45, the action of 
the free-foot. In 43, it is momenta- 
rily high (Cf . Fig. 47) ; in 43, 44 the 
head is hardly erect enough. 



First Half, 5a (1) Right forward outside to inside. 
As you approach the end of the R. O. F. half-circle, 
draw right shoulder back (at A) ; . the skating-foot 
consequently bites a sharper edge, with an increase of 
speed (cf. p. 25) and the cooperating movement of the 
balance-foot is forward and up, Fig. 43. 

The balance-foot now drops slowly, while the body 
straightens up on to the flat of the skate, and the left 
shoulder rotates gradually forward (B, Fig. 41). 

The skating-foot catches up (Fig. 44), passes the 
balance-foot, and bites into the inside edge, at the 
same time that the balance-foot (backward) and the 
left arm (forward) are stretching apart (Fig. 45). 
Finish the inside circle as a normal inside edge. 

"The rest of the eight." — Romeo and Juliet. — 3, I, 83. 

Second Half, Left forward 
inside to outside. Again, as 
you approach the end of 
the L. I. F. half circle (Ai), 
draw the inside shoulder back, 
carry the balance-foot across 
in front over the bent skat- 
mg-leg (Cf. R. I. F. Fig. 46), 
which straightens on the flat 
at the long axis (B 1 ), catches 
up with the balance-foot, 
passes by, and then bites into 
the outside edge (C 1 ), at the 
same time that the right 
shoulder and the balance- 
foot are settling back over 
the print, as in a normal left 
outside forward edge. (See Hdbk., Fig. 374, Salchow.) 
After each change of edge, assume the proper posi- 
tion for the ensuing curve, as previously prescribed. 
See further, Hdbk., p. 147, New Sk., pp. 19, 20. 

First Half, 6a (2) Right backward outside to inside. 
Toward the end of the R. O. B. half-circle, bring 

46 — riof Change 


■KOiB, before Change 48 — roib, after Change 

balance-foot behind (Fig. 47); at the long axis, the 
skating-foot catches up on the flat, passes by, and bites 
into a sharp inside edge at the same time that the bal- 
ance-foot darts forward and the left arm is being 
brought down to the side (Fig. 48). Finish the circle 
as a normal inside back by drawing the balance-foot 
and hands down as on p. 31. 

Second Half, Left backward inside to outside. 
Toward the end of L. I. B. half-circle, bend the skating- 
knee and draw the bal- 
ance-foot well behind 
and across the print 
(Cf. Figs. 40, 49, R. 
I. B.); at the long 
axis, the skating-foot 
catches up on the flat, 
passes by the bal- 
ance-foot, and bites 
into sharp O. B. edge, 
at the same time that 
the balance-foot drops 
well in front and the 
balance shoulder 
stretches round be- 
hind in normal posi- 
tion for L. O. B. (Cf. Fig. 50, R. O. B.). 

Skate the changes as if the balance-foot were station- 
ary and the skating-foot were catching up, rather than 

49 — RIOB 

before Change 

50 — RIOB 
after Change 


swing the balance-foot too hard (Held). "don't 
kick. Take as much weight as you can off the ice at 
the change, and put as much as you can into the bites. 
This is the secret of all the turns: dip, rise, dip — bend, 
stretch, bend. Be as light as possible as you rise for 
the turn, and 'sit down' hard on the second curve." 
New Sk. t p. 20. 


"From edge to edge." — A. C, 2, 2, 117. 

"Turn and change together." — T. C, 5, 3, no. 

Threes are turns on one foot from a curve in one 
direction to a curve in the opposite direction on the 
other edge, by means of a half turn of the body. For- 
ward threes are made on the front part of the skate; 
backward threes, on the back. The turn must be on the 
long axis of the eight, and the second curve must be as 
big as the first. To prevent the second curve from 
curling in, great pains must be taken with the form in 
which you skate the first curve and with your rotation 
at the turn. You must force the turn by the rotation, 
but you must reverse your shoulders just before you 
turn (Fig. 53). There is also a great tendency to 
hunch up and get an K *es at hip and neck; therefore 
keep actively in mind Rules 2 and 3. 

If you can spread-eagle your feet, you will find an 
eight of two O. F. threes not difficult (No. 7 [1]). The 
little girl in Figs. 56 and 57 will have some difficulty — 
why? The O. F. three is usually combined with the 
I. B. three; and the I. F. three always with the O. B. 
three. The latter eight is the easier and counts less; 
but the single O. F. three is the one usually learned first. 


First Half, R. O. F. Three to I. B. The 
first thing to notice is that the O. F. 
curve before a three is skated differently 
from the plain eight. The left shoulder 
and arm, instead of being carried behind, 
is carried in front (Fig. 52). The bal- 5i_Three 
ance-foot is not carried so far behind or Eight 


52 — rof Three 53 — rof Three 

Left shoulder forward L. shoulder back, at turn 

54 — rof Three 

Just after turn 

55— rof Three 
Holding out second curve 

so long. The turn is made by drawing back the left 
shoulder (note in Fig. 53 that the left shoulder is back 
before the turn is made) ; and you prevent the curling 
in of the second curve not only by thus reducing the 
rotation at the turn, but also by looking hard over 
the balance-foot shoulder (Fig. 55). 

It is an aid, "to get ahead of yourself" at the turn; 
that is, bend forward so that the centre of gravity is 
ahead of the skating-foot at the turn (Fig. 53). When 
the turn is made, the skating-foot darts under the 


56— rof Three 
Before the turn 

57 — rof Three 

After the turn 

58 — lob Three 

After the turn 

body (Fig. 54, the right arm needn't come forward), 
restores equilibrium, and gains rather than loses pace. 

It is a still greater gain, to "spring" the knee before 
and after the turn; that is, settle down a little into the 
edge before the turn, be as light as possible at the turn 
(Fig. 53 looks stiff, because snapt at the instant of 
extreme stretch), and settle still harder into the second 
curve after the turn. Conceal the trick, however, in 
the execution of the figure. Cf. top p. 35. 

59 — lib Three 

Before the turn 

60 — lib Three 

After the turn 

"Nor attend the foot That leaves the print." 

— King John y 4, 3, 26. 

Second Half, L. I. B. Three to O. F. A very hard 
three for a beginner; it is more of a hip turn than a 
shoulder turn, like the O. F. three. You will have dis- 
covered before this that our figure-skating is done not 
so much with the skating-foot as with balance-foot, 
hips, shoulders, arms, and head. Of course your 


skating ankle will seem weak, if you try to make it do 
all the work! 

On the L. I. B. hold the balance-foot in front, a little 
outside the print, shoulders flat. Unscrew until you 
can see the heel of the skating-foot over the skating 
shoulder, Fig. 59. 

To produce the turn, twist the heel of the skating- 
foot, turn toes out with brisk muscular effort, and 
merely turning the balance-foot half over, drop it 
gently behind the print, as you catch the forward edge 
in normal position for L. O. F. curve, Fig. 60. (Cf. 
Handbook, p. 90, New Sk., p. 22.) 


THREE (1) 

First Half, R. I. F. Three to O. B. Start with the 
right shoulder in front instead of the left (p. 28) and 
with the balance-foot directly over the print. 

To execute the turn, carry the balance-foot across 
the print, and finish the second curve as a regular out- 
side back, Figs. 7, 19, 47, 83, 84, 85. 

61— bob Three 

Before the turn 

62— bob Three 

After the turn 

Second Half, L. O. B. Three to I. F. Let the balance- 
foot lag in front, with strong screw rotation of the 
shoulders (Cf. Fig. 61, R. O. B.) until you can see the 
heel of the skating-foot over your right shoulder (as 
in outer back loop, Fig. 74, R. O. B., Cf. Fig. 50) ; then, 
with a quick flip, execute the turn on the heel of your 


skate, and with the same movement pull the balance- 
foot round and finish the I. F. curve with the balance- 
foot in front, the normal position, Figs. 62, 58, Mrs. 
Syers. Some prefer the old way, New Sk., p. 22, Card 7. 


"Now execute a change of edge; 
A turn should follow duly; 
And on the ice, my word I pledge, 
You'll see a long-tailed Q lie." 
— F. in Winter Sports Review, Jan., 191 2, p. 122. 

63— Q's 

For the Three Edges, or Q's and Reverse Q's, Figs. 
63, 64, combinations of Threes and Changes of Edge, 
and how to skate them, see Hdbk., p. 47, and pp. 93, ff. 


Double threes, Fig. 65, are combi- 
, nations of three curves by means of 

\l -^ J two turns; that is, the second curve 
of the first three serves as first curve 
of the second three. They are skated 
in the same way as single threes; only 
you need to let the skate run freely in 
order to keep up pace to the end, 
especially in [eights beginning on the 
inside edge. Skate all forward turns 
on the front part of the skate, all backward turns on 
the back part, as in single threes. Be* careful about 
placing symmetrically — the long axis bisects the 
second curve. 

Toward the end of the second curve of an outside 
forward double three, the balance-foot, which is 
normally behind, may be brought a little forward and 

65 — Double 
Three Eight 
Cf. top page 27 


up, ready at the precise moment when the skating - 
foot flips round on the heel to outside forward, to drop 
behind and across the print, and thus help open out 
the last curve in the regular position for outside for- 
ward. Cf. New Sk. t pp. 22, 23. The balance-foot, 
however, may be kept behind all through the O. F. 
double three, and brought softly forward only at the 
end of the third curve, for the transition to the second 
half of the eight. 

Before the second turn of the I. F. double three, keep 
the balance-foot behind; after the turn, in front, as in 
the new O. B. three, p. 38. 

66 — Loop 

Cf.tQp.p. 27 

67— Loop in 
the air 

(For full treat- 


Loops are difficult but 
±\ i fascinating figures. 

\V^ V^/ There is a knack about 
the successful execution 
of them that is hard to 
get and easy to lose. 
Experts have to prac- 
tice daily in order to 
keep control of them, 
ment of loops see Hdbk., p. 145; New Sk., pp. 23-5, 
with extraordinary photographs of Panin, Salchow, 
Hugel, and Meyer.) In all loops, the free foot de- 
scribes in the air the same loop that the skate 

describes on the ice, Fig. 67. 
Outside loops are made by the 
rotation of the shoulders com- 
pleted by the swinging foot; 
inside loops, by the pressure 
of the weight of the balance- 
leg and foot against the 
curve, assisted by the 'rota- 
tion of the shoul ders. Fig. 7 1 . 
The beginner, however, will 
not have so much difficulty in 
rotating his shoulders as in 
preventing the swinging foot 
from coming into action too 
68— Going into Loop soon. 



Begin gently on deeply bent skating knee, with left 
arm and shoulder far in front, Figs. 52 and 68, Salchow 

69— In the Loop 70 — Coming out 

and balance-foot inside the print so that you canjsee 
it over your right shoulder. Keep the balance-foot 
behind, until well round the oval, Fig. 69; then 
straighten the skating-knee, and swing the balance- 
foot into the second curve, Fig. 70. 

71— Going in 

72— Coming out 


At, or immediately after the start, the skating-foot 
shoulder and arm are well in front. The body leans for- 
ward, and the skating-knee is deeply bent. The balance- 
foot is carried well outside the print; this movement 


presses the skate sharp on the edge, near the heel. 
Quicl% unscrew rotation of the shoulders just before the 
loop, Fig. 71, helps the skating edge carry the body 
round; and as the skating-leg straightens, the balance- 
foot is stretched out forward and fairly high, Fig. 72, 
and the arms are brought down to the sides, to skate 
out the second curve, full and round. 

"If the left shoulder, Fig. 68, is not carried far enough 
round in the direction of progression, the rotation will be 
uneven, and a cross-cut instead of a loop will result. . . 
. This strong rotation of the shoulders and of the whole 
upper body brings the skating-foot into a forced posi- 
tion which, in case the body leans a little forward, also 
brings the skate on a still sharper edge. The release 
from this twisted position comes from the fairly rapid 
swing of the balance-foot around the skating-foot. . . 
. Loops are the fundamental figures that contribute 
to modern skating variety, vivacity, and beauty. In 
general, for those who really practice hard, loops are 
comparatively easy; but they are easily forgotten 
again, and for this reason should be a regular part of 
the daily practice." — Salchow, Das Kunstlaufen auf 
dem Else, p. 25. 


Begin back loops like back threes, only very slowly, 
so as to lengthen the first curve by killing as much 
rotation as possible until you get to the loop itself. 
Hold the balance-foot way over in front until the loop 
is almost finished, and then bring it round close to the 
skating-foot, as the body and skating-leg straighten 
up. Cf. Fig. 50, New Sk., pp. 23, 38; Hdbk., pp. 184-5. 

But back loops, as well as rocking-turns (rockers, 
counters, and brackets) , you had better postpone until 
you have had more practice on the fundamental figures. 
See Hdbk., pp. 151 & and 186 ff, and New Sk., p. 26ff . 
It will be more profitable for you now to take up a few 
simple combinations. 

For an exhaustive treatment of all the practical 
strokes by which these elementary curves are combined 
into figures, see Hdbk., pp. 52-64. 



One of the most useful combinations is the familiar 
English "once-back" (Hdbk., p. 53), a stroke from O. F. 
to O. B. on the other foot by means of a short three 
turn. The second curve of the three may be so short 
that it amounts only to a little hook on the end of the 
R. O. F. curve, and the transition to the L. O. B. may 
be made without any appreciable change of edge. 
This stroke from the three turn is a very useful exercise 
skated to an eight (Fig. 73, Cf. Figs. 90 and 91). 
Foreign skaters call it the Englander, and the stroke 
from the double three (Fig. 74), also skated to an 
eight, the Double Englander. 

73 — Once Back 
Eight — Englander 


74— Double 

75 — Amerikaner 

In order to come back to a centre on a forward edge, 
you must skate a "once-back and forward" — i. e., 
B. O. F., L. O. B., R. O. F., Hdbk., p. 53. This figure 
has even greater swing when skated with a partner. 
Combined with a once-back and cross-roll back, jt 
makes the Mercury (p. 57). The skater who is goTng 
backward pulls his partner at the turn, who comes 
round with a swish that is most exhilarating — in the 
Flying Mercury, clear off the ice (Fig. 98). 


If, instead of rotating the body like a three, you turn 
in the opposite direction, and skate a stroke from the 
It. O. F. on to the L. O. B. by putting the left foot 
down behind the other, you will skate a figure carried 


76 — Mohawk 
First Curve 

77— Shifting 
the weight 

78 — Mohawk 
Second Curve 

79 — Forward 

to Europe by Callie Curtis in 1869, and to this day 

called the Amerikaner. (Figs. 75, 81.) 

If you flatten your shoulders, knees, and ankles into 

the spread-eagle position (Fig. 76) and transfer your 

weight to the L. 
O. B. just before 
you get to the shift 
(Fig. 77), you will 
skate the familiar 
Mohawk of today, 

Fig. 78 (Hdbk., p. 87). The end of your R. O. F. 

curve is crossed by the beginning of your L. O. B. 

curve, Fig. 79. 


"Now let's go hand-in-hand, not one before another." 

— Comedy of Errors, 5, 1, 425. 

The forward Mohawk is a very serviceable figure for 
hand-in-hand skating, for partners can skate circling 
figures, facing the same way all the time, Fig. 80. See 
the Meal Sack, Hdbk., p. 112, Fig. 331, a F. Mohawk 
hand-in-hand, R. O. F. to L. O. B., and R. O. I. B. 
change and L. I. F. and R. O. F. and L. O. F. Mohawk, 
etc., repeated on the other foot. For the various ways 
of holding hands, see Hdbk., p. 65. 

Partners cutting by each other at *, Fig. 81, on an 
I. O. F. change, Mohawk, and I. B., may execute a 


80 — Mohawk Eight, Kokettieren 81 — Amerikaner 

very lively wing-eight, to place. If partners cut by at * 
in opposite direction on the same line, passing face to 
face, the figure is called Zanzibar. By omitting the back 
stroke, you may skate it side-by-side (joining one hand 
or crossing hands in front) as a progressive Change- 
Mohawk Scud. The grapevine may be skated by 
partners, face to face, Fig. 82. See Hdbk., p. 84. 


Spirals, long curves skated in plastic poses after 
vigorous running starts, may also be skated in pairs 
(Figs. 83, 84, 85). Get up speed by a few powerful 
strokes and then in quiet pose, in correct form, hold 
the edge as long as your power lasts, finishing with a 
pivot circle, (Title-page), a pirouette or a rise on both 
toes (Figs. 87, 88). Practise the forward spirals first, 
outside and inside edge. Start the backward spirals 
forward; and either by a grapevine (Fig. 82) or other 
two foot turn, or by a jump (Fig. 89, see Hdbk,, p. 42), 
settle on to the backward pose at a good pace. For 
grapevines, see Hdbk., p. 84ff., p. 102. A vigorous O. B. 
may be started, after getting up pace, by a stroke from 
R. I. B. to L. I. B. to R. O. B., a "faked" flying-three. 


These large 
spirals are not 
only excellent 
practice in 
the ankles, ac- 
quiring pace, 
and securing 
balance, but 
they are the 
most exhilarat- 
ing movements 
possible short 
of flying like a 


The common- 
est use of the 
stroke, Fig. 73, 
is in the familiar 
wait z-step. 
Figs. 90 and 91 
represent re- 
spectively the 
boy's and the 
girl's steps in a 
practice eight, 
the centres of which (two chairs) are about thirty 
feet apart. An inspection of the diagrams (Figs. 
90, 91) will readily resolve the waltz-step into its 
elements. It will be seen to consist of an outside 
forward three-turn — from an outside forward edge to 
an inside back edge on one foot, — and then a glide 
(not a hop or a dip) on to the outside back of the other 
foot. In practice, the inside back is often held for a 
yard or two before the glide on to the outside back on 
the other foot. By keeping up the rotation of the body 
and turning out the balance-foot, the skater will be 
able to continue straight on to another outside forward 
edge on the original foot, ready to repeat the turn. 

83— Hand-in-Hand Spiral— Davos 

"In circles we sweep 
Our poise still we keep." 
~-C. Dibdin, The Skater's March, 1802. 


84— Forward and Back Spiral— Chateau d'CEx. 
"In circling poise, swift as the winds along." 

— Thompson's Winter. 

85— The Victory Spiral — Country Club, Brookline 
"How smooth and even they do bear themselves!" — H. b t 2, 2, 3, 


87a — Toe Spin— English 

" She'rises on the toe." 

— Cf. Shakespeare, Troi- 

lus and Cressida, 4, 5, 14. 

87b— "The Salute" 

"Rise up, rise up, Xarifa!" 
—J. G. Lockhart The 
Bridal of Andalla. 

88a — American (Professional) 88b — Pirouette 

"She can spin." "Turned on the toe." 

— T. G., 3,1, 316. — L. L. L., 5, 2, 114. 

"What'er thou art, I watch thy threadless maze, 
Till 1 am wonder-rapt in trance hypnotic; 
Like sunflower to the Sun I turn my gaze 
Hello! I'm down again; how idiotic!" 
— Anon., The Incognita at the Skating Club 

89—" An easy leap " 
— I HA, i, 3, 201 

(Some American 
waltzers cut out 
the short inside 
back curve and 
pass directly from 
the outside for- 
ward on one foot 
to the outside 
back on the other. 
Cf. p. 43. 

To reverse the 
rotation, change 
the outside edge 
to the inside for- 
ward on the same 
foot ; and then by a 
parallel stroke, pass smoothly on to the outside forward 
on the other foot, ready for the "once-back" step in the 
opposite direction. (Most American waltzers, again, 
cut out the change of edge, and effect the reverse by a 
cross-roll direct from the outside forward on one foot 
to the outside forward on the other.) Practise the 
steps alone, according to the diagram, and then together. 
"It is the absolutely simultaneous execution of these 
movements by the two partners that constitutes the 
whole essential art of a pair 'going together.' " If 
the carriage be erect and the position of the part- 
ners parallel, if the curves and turns be true and 
clean, if the movements of the pair be easy, supple, 
and harmonious, and in perfect rhythm with the music, 
— the effect cannot fail to be graceful. The four skates 
should be at all times within about a three-foot ring; 
at the stroke, the balance leg should hang easily, knee 
slightly bent, and toe turned out, the heels not more 
than six inches apart; on the curves, the skaters should 
lean boldly, keep close together all the time, and not 
bend at the waist. Beginners are advised to count 1, 
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 — 1, 2, 3, etc., turning on the 1. Cf. Danc- 
ing on Skates, by Col. H. V. Kent (Newcastle, 1910), 
who advocates the Circular instead of the usual Ser- 
pentine Waltz, because you don't have to be constantly 
on the anxious lookout to avoid collisions. 


Log ** RfB 
90— The Boy's Steps 

When skated by a pair, the prints of Figs. 90 and 
91 will track (see Card 21 for the two eights tracking, 
— the lady's steps in red) : when the boy is on forward 
curves, his partner will be on backward curves; when 


91— The Girl's Steps 

he'is on backward curves, she will be on forward curves; 
when he is cutting the three-turn, she will be passing 
from outside back to outside forward, and vice versa. 
The cinematograph (Fig. 92), though it covers 
hardly more than half an inch of the diagram (from 


point 5 to point 6, not 
ten feet on the ice, and 
only a half-rotation), is 
more suggestive than 
pages of exposition. It 
will be helpful to you in 
interpreting other instan- 
taneous positions (when 
the sequence of snap- 
shots is not so rapid as 
here) to try to fit the 
movements to the dia- 
gram. In No. 1 the lady 
is still on the short LB. 
tail of her three (note the 
swish of her skirt), the 
gentleman is just prepar- 
ing to strike off on the 
first curve of his L. O. F. 
three, from a long O. B. 
on his right foot; at No. 
4. the lady has changed 
to her outside back; ob- 
serve that her feet sepa- 
rate during her vigorous 
outside back while his are 
coming together for the 
three-turn at Nos. 9, 10, 
11; he now will change 
from a short L. I. B. to 
R. O. B. in step with his 
partner when she rotates 
from her R. O. B. at 12 
on to her L. O. F. in his 
wake — her feet are nearly 
together again, and in 
three or four more snaps 
the sequence begun at 1 
will repeat, only reversed 
— lady forward and 
gentleman backward. 



92— The Waltz Step 

92 — The Waltz Step. Courtesy of L. Magnus, 
Let Sports d* Hiver, Paris, 191 1, Le Patinage, pp. 76-77. 



Another popular dance step that boys and girls will 

enjoy is the ten-step. The only difficult part is the 

/•_ girl's last four 

^J* J'rS. steps. These 

•^fr^V , lo \ steps, however, 

tT 5 LID ^ 6 

° \V DAtj ai *e as old as pair- 

/ L ° B \\ R0B skating; they are 

/-RIF RIB fSs ^3 basis of the 

-. tX original Jackson 

i ~ L ' L ' F -\V Haines waltz and 

^|...R!B RlF j, V ma y be easier 

f>. J? J learned in that 

• Y - L I B c?° ' form first, Fig. 93. 

S7<^7^-^ (This two-step 

V^^y and the Jackson 

no tm. t i tt • mil Haines waltz, like 
93 — The Jackson Haines Waltz ,. 

the once-back 

English waltz, may be skated hand-in-hand, Fig. 94 
or in the regul a r waltz position, Fig. 92.) 

These four troublesome steps may be skated in two 
ways: with both feet on the ice, like a grapevine; or 
lifted from the ice at the turns. Both ways are indi- 
cated on the diagram (Fig. 93), the easier first. 

94 — Hand-in-Hand Waltz (Montreal) 

Begin with a R. I. F. Before the right reaches 1, 
begin another I. F. with the left. Before the left 
reaches 3, turn an inside counter at 1 to R. I. B. Heels 
are together now on an inside spread- 
eagle. Around 3 as a pivot, the R. I. B. 
crosses the print of the left foot at 4, 
gets behind and changes to O. B.; but 
before it reaches 6, the weight shifts to 
the left, which, on deeply bent knee, 
cuts across at 5 ; and as the right leaves 
the ice, bites into a vigorous independent 
LB. The right now swings round to I. 
F. (heels together again, Cf. Practice 
Step IV 2 ), and the sequence repeats. 
This time, instead of making an inner 
forward counter, as at 1, and an inner 95— -Scratch 
back three, as at 3, lift the feet and shift Stroke 
the weight successively from R. I. F. 
to L. I. F., then crossing over in front to R. I. B. The 
knack is shifting the weight at these "scratch" strokes 
(Fig. 95) and spread-eagling the ankles. 

The same applies to the ten-step. The sequence of 
steps is as follows: 

Boy's steps 
Girl's steps 








Boy's steps 
Girl's steps 







R.I.F. I 
L.LB. j 

Steps 3, 6, and 10 are long; 2, 5, and 9, very short. 
The ten-step, therefore, takes seven measures of the 
music. The boy makes his step 8-9, as the girl does 
hers, 9-10, by crossing the foot over in front (scratch 
strokes, Fig. 95). Care must be taken not to lift the 
feet too high; they should be slipt along, to give a soft, 
gliding effect. 

There are many variations of this exhilarating two- 
step: after 3, the boy may insert a R. O. F., the girl a 


96— The Scholler March 

L. O. B., and then repeat from the beginning; at 8, 
the girl may go under her own right arm raised, still 
holding the boy's left, etc. 


Another old, but 
fundamental pair- 
figure is the Scholler 
March. The dia- 
gram (Fig. 96) shows 
that the sequence 
of steps is as fol- 
; lows: 1, L. O. F.; 
2, R. I. F., set down 
behind; 3, L. O. F. 
three; 4, R. I. F. 
three — ending with 
L. I. B. and R. O. 
B. at the same time; 
5, L. I. B., behind 
the right; 6, R. O. B.; 7, L. I. B. repeated, still be- 
hind the right. The right is now drawn back, 8, R. O. 
B.; 9, "scratch" L. I. B., i. e., crossed over in front; 10, 
spread-eagle to R. I. F. and repeat. 

The girl, holding boy's right hand, lets go at 4 and 
takes his left after the turn; at 9 she lets go, and at 10 
takes his right again. Inwaltz-poai ion (thg bo . 's steos 
as above) the girl's would be: 1. R. O. B. 2. L. I. B. 
(L crossing behind R). 3. R. O. B. three I. F. (L stays 
behind R). 4. L. O. F. 5. R. I. F. (L stays behind R. 
untilthe Amerikaner turn at 9). 6. L. O. F. 7. R.I.F. 
8. L. O. F. Amerikaner. 9. R. O. B. 10. "Scratch" 
L. I. B.; i.e., crossed over in front. From 1 to 4 the 
boy skate3 forward, the girl backward; from 4 to 9, the 
boy backward, the girl forward; from 9, as at beginning. 

1. L. O. F. 2. Cross-roll R. O. F. three I. B. 3. 
"Scratch" L. I. B. 4. R. I. F. and repeat. When skated 
hand-in-hand, side-by-side, let go hands at the three- 
turn; then join the other hands, and let go again at 4. 

1. R. I. F. 2. L. O. F. three I. B. 3. R. O. B. 4. L. I. B. 


5. R.O.B. 6. "Scratch" L.I. B.; i.e., crossed over in 
front, and repeat. This figure may be skated side by 
side, hands crossed, the girl at the right, the boy skat- 
ing an Amerikaner at 2, instead of a Three. 


For other easy hand-in-hand figures like 
the Mercury (Boy, once back and forward; 
Girl, once back and backward; boy doing 
forward cross-roll and girl back cross-roll at 
the same time, see 
diagram, Fig. 97) ; 
and for the Flying 
Mercury (on the 
backward stroke 
boy pulls his part- 
ner off her three 
through the air 
from O. F. on one 
foot directly on to 
O.B. on the other 
Fig.98), see Hdbk., 

97 — Mercury and Pigeon 

p. 67; for Bishop Eights, p. 68; for Hand- 
in-hand Mohawk and other Combinations, 
including the famous old-time Curtis and 
Goodrich Waltz, pp. 111-2. Miss Edith 

Eliot Rotch kindly contributes the following, as skated 

at The Skating Club of Boston : 


98— The Flying Mercury 

"Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury." 

— i H\ 4, i, 1 06. 

Herzen, Fig. 99.— Boy, R. O. F. three to I. B. and 
L. O. F. and little step R. and little catch step L. and 
little step R.; Girl, L. O. F. three to I. B. and R. O. F. 
and little step L., and little catch step R. and little 
step L. 

'girl I bot 

1 nc y 

LOB/ \R0B 

/LOF ^ 
99— Herzen Mohawk 100— Choctaw 101 — Canadian Box 


Let go hands at the three (a), join 
at the steps (b) and repeat on opposite 
foot, opposite direction. The catch 
step is made by putting one foot down 
directly behind the other, Fig. 102. 
This figure fits well to music in march 
or waltz time, the three turn taking 
four measures, the O. F. two, and the 
three little steps two. 

Herzen Mohawk. — After the short 
steps, join hands (c) and add a long 
straight step, boy L. O. F., girl R. 
O. F., holding the position for two 
measures. Then in front of the skat- 


102— Catch 


103 — Swing of Balance-Foot 
Mr. and Mrs. Syers, at Davos. 

"What harmony is this! " 
—T., 3, 3, 18. 

front, Fig. 100. 
Steps, R. O. F. 
and L. O. F. and 
R. O. F. Choctaw 
and R. I. F. 

swing bal- 
ance-foot forward 
(Fig. 103) then back- 
ward, and put it down 
on the ice, backwards. 
Let go hands and re- 
peat in opposite direc- 
tion; or add another 
straight forward 
stroke, and repeat in 
same direction. 

Choctaw. — The 
Choctaw is made in 
the spread-eagle posi- 
tion like the Mohawk, 
only the second curve 
is on the other edge, 
Fig. 104 (See Hdbk., 
p. 88). Skate side by 
side, joining one hand 
or crossing hands in 

104— Choctaw 


On the Choctaw, girl leads, boy making his Choctaw 
behind in such a manner that his prints track his 
partner's. To be the best fun, the Choctaw should be 
made on a large circle, which will be facilitated if the 
leader will look over the shoulder away from the 

When you start on the left foot, boy leads, girl follows, 
looking over shoulder after the Choctaw turn. 

Canadian Box.— (a to e Fig. 101) R. O. F. and L. O. F. 
and R. O. F. Mohawk L. O. B. and Cross-roll R. O. B. 
double three and Cross-roll L. O. B. double three and 
cross-roll R. O. I. B. change and L. I. F. and R. O. F. 
circle entire. Repeat on left. Partners drop hands at 
the turns (b), join on the change (c), drop on the circle 
(d), and join at the end (e), and repeat. 


See New Sk., Chapter IV, Hdbk., pp. 131 ff, 196. 

In addition to these Mohawk, Choctaw, "once- 
back," and other dance and march steps, American 
skating provides ample material for an International 
program of self-chosen figures, which, combined into 
a coherent performance, set to music, should impress 
spectators as an artistic unit of rhythmic and graceful 
movements. Since this part of the program should be 
original, only a few hints and suggestions need be given 
here. The following are some of those given to 
European beginners by Herr G. Helfrich of Berlin, to 
whom I am indebted not only for several other useful 
hints in this book, and for the original of the front 
cover illustration, but also for the simple and suggestive 
drawings on p. 62, designed after mine in my New 
Skating, p. 5. 

"Select ten or a dozen figures in which you have 
good control; two spirals, two dance steps, and one 
or two "once-back" and Mohawk combinations are 
recommended. Begin and end with a spiral. Finish 
spirals with a spin or pirouette. Use the dance steps 
to connect into a fluid performance, without a break, 
other parts of your program. With your eye divide 
the surface into two big halves, and strive to place your 


figures symmetrically in each, not too far from the 
centre. Special figures like pirouettes, jumps, etc., 
aim to place in the centre; dances, grapevines, spread- 
eagle combinations, spirals, scuds, etc., swing in large 
circles round the centre. Avoid bobbing round in the 
corners. Keep time. Don't hurry." See New Sk., 
Chap IV; Syers, Book of Winter Sports, Chap. IV, on 
Free- Skating, p. 95. 

Of the stock of already familiar figures from which 
to choose, nothing further need be said of the spirals 
(p. 45) or of the spread-eagle, Figs. 18-21, except that 

105 — Spread-Eagle 

J. F. Bacon, just after 
a complete revolution 
in the air, and there- 
fore not yet quite 
erect. Hdbk. p. 69. 

"He cuts the spread- 
eagle — an elephant 
— beagle, And beats 
all our skaters to 
rags." — The Skating 
Lesson, Illus. London 
News, Jan., 1847. 

106 — A Hand-in-Hand 
Spread Eagle 

"Our grace is only in our 
heels." — Henry V., 3, 5, 34. 

the usual American Spread- 
Eagle like Bacon's (Fig. 105) 
will not do. This identical 
cut is selected for criticism 
by Panin because (1) the 
knees are not perfectly 
straight (Cf. Figs. 5, 21); (2) 
because the body is bent; 

and (3) because, on the out- 
side edge, the whole body doe3 not incline backward. 
See the difference between an outside and an inside 
spread-eagle," Fig. 106. Avoid head, knee, and arm 
positions like Fig. 107, No. 8. 


9 10 It 12 

107— Whirls, Spins, and Pirouettes 

For directions how to skate whirls and spins (with 
illustrations), diagrams 107 to 113, see Hdbk., pp. 
106-7. For toe-pirouettes (Fig. 107, 4, begun outside, 
Fig. 105, 5, inside), see p. 108. The secret of these toe 
spins is just the opposite of what you would expect: 
do not straighten the body, but bend the knee; when 
you want to come down, straighten up! 'The Jackson 
Haines pirouette (Fig. 107, 9-12) requires deep knee 



Two-foot Whirl, Cf. Fig. 107, 1, 2. 
Hdbk., p. 106. 

109 110 

Cross-foot Spins 
Fig. 107, 3. 


111 112 113 

Flat-foot Spins and Inside Ringlets 

bending, which is developed best by boys in doing the 
Dutch slide, Fig. 114 (Cf. Hdbk., p. 42). 

On a rapid Dutch slide backwards, with balance-foot 
trailing out straight behind (Fig. 107, 9), suddenly swing 
the balance-foot forward and begin to spin in ringlets, 

114— The Dutch Slide 

"Oh, would I were a boy again." — Mark Lemon. 

"Ah, happy years! once more who would not be 
a boy?" — Byron, Childe Harold, II, 23. 

either holding the balance-foot in your hands (Fig. 107, 
10) or folding arms across your chest (Fig. 107, 12). 
The secret of this spin is to curl up in under, all in a 

Or, start on a vigorous forward three or loop, bend 


115 — Jackson Haines Spin — Salchow 
"None but himself can be his parallel." 

— L. Theobald, The Double Falsehood. 

the skating-knee (Fig. 
115, Salchow), curl 
the balance-foot 
around (Fig. 116, Hu- 
gel), and finally settle 
into one spot with the 
balance-foot in hand, 
like Rittberger (Fig. 
117), and finish on 
the toe like Hiigel 
(Hdbk.,i>. 37) or Sal- 
chow (Hdbk.,v. 132). 
Easier said than 
done, perhaps, like 

116 — Hiigel settling down 


"Will it give place to 
flexure and low bend- 
ing?"— H\ 4, i, 272. 

117 — Sitz-Pirouette — Rittberger 

"Thus long have we stood 
To watch the fearful bending of thy knee." 

— Shakespeare, Richard II, 3, 3, 73. 

some other parts of this Primer. But courage! It 
took Jackson [Haines nine years to perfect this spe- 
cialty of his. And remember what Mrs. Syers says: 
"Of all the qualifications necessary, steady persever- 
ance is perhaps the most important. No matter 
how gifted, no skater has ever attained the highest 
rank without hard work. The elements must be thor- 
oughly mastered before you attempt the more intri- 
cate figures." — New Handbook) p. 199. 

"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill." 
— Dr. Johnson, Rasselas, Chap. XII. 

"Therefore, let every man now task his thought, 
That this fair action may on foot be brought." 

— Shakespeare, Henry V, 1, 2, 310. 



Class Tests and Competitions 
The recent experience of the Berlin Skating Club 
would indicate that American Skating Clubs, also, 
could with profit introduce tests and competitions 
for beginners; and, by making the occasions amusing 
and attractive with music, games, and contests, arouse 
interest and recruit the numbers of active figure 
skaters. For the last two seasons the Committee of 
the Junior Department of the Berlin Skating Club, 
inspired by the enthusiasm of Herr Helfrich, have held 
monthly meetings for novices, at which prizes and 
certificates have been given to winners in figure- 
skating, speed-skating, and gymkana sports like 
obstacle races, candle races, potato-races, tandem-races 
(playing horse) > races of contestants crawling through 
barrels, carrying an egg in a spoon, threading the needle, 
rolling hoop, etc. They have been very successful. 
There are many running and tagging games played in 
our gymnasiums and public playgrounds that can be 
repeated on the ice with added zest, such as team races 
— sides lined up, and one from each side skating at a 
signal to and around a goal, and releasing the next 
runner from the line on his side by a touch of out- 
stretched hands; setting up candle pins in the same 
way ; and various tag and relay games. Here are some 
kindly furnished by Ernst Hermann, Director of 
Physical Training and Supt. of Playgrounds, Cam- 
bridge and Newton, Mass. 

Candle Pin Exchange Race — 25 yards from starting 
line set up a candle pin in centre of a 12-inch iron hoop 
(painted red) ; and 25 yards further another hoop and 
pin. At signal, one skater from each team skates to 
the further pin, exchanges it for the nearer pin, which 
he sets up in the further pin's place, and then skates 
back to the starting line to tag the next runner. Team 
wins whose last runner gets back to starting line first, 
after having exchanged and set up the pins properly. 

First Variation — Place the two hoops and pins on 
the 50-yard line, two feet apart. Each skater simply 
exchanges the pins, leaving them upright, and then 
skates back to tag the next starter. 


Second Variation — Instead of exchanging the pins, 
each skater may turn the pins upside down (The 
pins are painted with a two-inch red band at one end 
and a blue band at the other). Care must be taken to 
have the same color up or down on all the pins in the 
game. Rope quoits (6 in. in diam., f in. rope) may be 
substituted for the iron hoops, and bean-bags or hockey 
pucks for the pins; but it requires more skill to set up 
the pins in the prescribed manner. 

Rope Quoits and Candle Pins — Instead of exchang- 
ing the pins, exchange the rope-quoits, taking care in 
slipping the quoits up over the pins not to upset the 
pins. Similar variations. 

Shuttle Relay Races- — Half of each team, placed one 
behind the other, at each shuttle (starting-line) — the 
two front skaters 50 yds. apart. At signal, No. la (the 
front skater) skates to No. 16, the other end, and gives 
him a flag, bean-bag, or rope-quoit. No. 16 then skates 
to No. 2a, who in turn gives flag to No. 26; and so on, 
back and forth (like a shuttle) , until the four skaters 
of each side have exchanged places. It is important 
to make a distinct rule which hand shall be used in 
the delivery of the flag to the next runner. 

Variations — 1. Couples run from each end of the 
shuttle. 2. Russian style — three skaters race from 
each side, all joining hands. 3. Chariot race — all four 
join hands, and exchange places with the chariot at 
the other end. 

Hurdle Races — Run in the same manner. Snow 
hurdles 1-3 ft. high, 8 ft. wide, and about 6 ft. long, at 
distances of about 15 yds. The shuttle races are best 
suited to hurdling games. 

Puck Games — Four iron hoops or rope quoits at 
equal spaces (10-12| yds.) from starting line. Put 
pucks in last three. At signal, No. 1 gathers the pucks 
one at a time into the home goal (first hoop), and 
skates back to starting line to tag No. 2, who distributes 
the pucks, one at a time, and in turn tags No. 3, who 
collects again, etc. 



In addition to tests in prescribed figures and free- 
skating, both, for those who have received prizes and 
for novices who have never entered, there may be 
similar competitions in pair-skating and in waltzing. 
In these novice contests, prescribed figures are selected 
from the following list. For the regular fourth class 
test, the starred numbers must be skated, and any 
three more — ten out of thirteen figures. 

'Bring me to the test." — Hamlet, 3, 4, 142. 

/ \ Plain Circles 

/ No - 

; *7 HOG, LOF TA 
*2 RIF, LIF 
*3 ROB, LOB 

Changes of Edge 
5a roif, liof \ ( 

or b LOIF, RIOF 





or b LIF — -ROB 

Double Threes 

*10 ROF LOF 

*11 RIF LIF 

*12 ROB — LOB 

[Fig. 41 (too big 
for the space 
here) is a better 
shaped dia- 
gram. See also 
top of p. 27.] 

Change-Double Three 


28a ROIF — LIOF 


Vest pocket size, 56 pages, 3£ x 5J, price 50 cents. 

The "New" 





The International System 

Newly Expounded and Adapted to 

American Conditions 



Cambridge Skating Club 

The Eastern Amateur Skating Asso'n 

The International Skating Club 

Davos, Switzerland 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Reprinted for the Author 


Price, with the Handbook, 25 cents. 





AND i 



International School-Figures 


Fritz Schmitt, of Berlin 


George H. Browne 

Cambridge Skating Club 

International Skating Club, Davos, Switzerland 

The Skating Club of Boston 

cambridge, mass., u. s. a. 

Harvard Cooperative Society 


One can learn but one figure at a time. To have the 
key positions marked on a diagram by a professional, 
and to have the critical movements succinctly de- 
scribed on a single card that may be carried in the 
hand during the action, is to have expert skating in- 
struction reduced to its simplest and most convenient 
terms. A dozen cards (printed .on both sides) contain- 
ing essential directions how to skate the elementary 


Specimen Card. 


Position from A to B (Cf. 
rules 2 and 5): 

Shoulders — right shoulder in 
front; left shoulder behind. 

Arms — both in natural posi- 
tion, to left of body, parallel to 
each other (Cf. rule 3). 

Balance-Leg — Spread-eagled 
at hip, knee slightly bent, foot 
carried directly over the print, 
or slightly inside — never outside (Cf. rule 6). 

B to C — During the period of approaching 
and passing B, bring left shoulder in front, and 
both arms, parallel to each other, to the other 
side of the body. Carry this position to C. 
(Cf. rule 1.) 

C to A — While passing point C, bring bal- 
ance-foot gradually in front and across the skat- 
ing foot (Cf. rule 4). The whole body is now 
in position to begin the succeeding curve on 
the left foot in the same manner (according to 
general rules 10, 7, and 3). 

Panin— 1910 

Observe that the rotation of Panin' s 
shoulders begins at A. Meyer's balance- 
foot swings outside the print at B (Brokaw, 
p. 31); Fuchs's, a little later (Handbook, 
p. 141); Salchow's, two-thirds thro' circle. 

The faultless execution of the curves 
depends upon the condition that body, 
shoulders, arms, hips, and head be in mo- 
tion during the whole circle." — Salchow. 

school figures according to the method of the best ex- 
perts of the world, price 75 cents; with the Handbook, 
50 cents. 


Still the Standard for all Styles. 





Divided into four parts: I. What to do. II. What 
to do it with. III. How to do it. IV. The Interna- 
tional Style, with additional chapters, entirely new, on 
Skating without Skates (between-time training) , up-to- 
date Form in the execution of the I. S. U. School Fig- 
ures, Supplementary hints, general and specific, on 
the very latest methods of skating the Elementary Fig- 
ures in detail, The Advanced Figures, Free Skating, 
Pair Skating, and Artistic Skating for Women (con- 
tributed by Madge Syers — Mrs. Edgar Syers, London 
— the most accomplished woman skater in the world.) 

Handy size for the pocket, over 200 pages, thin 
paper, 3| x 6£, durably bound, price $1.00. 

By George H. Browne, A.M., Cambridge Skating 
Club — International Skating Club, Davos — The Skat- 
ing Club of Boston. See Primer, p. 7